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Bolton Wanderers vs Coventry City: Played For Both Clubs - Sam Ricketts

A look at the career of the recently retired Sam Ricketts

Ahead of tonight's game, here's a look at the career of former Bolton Wanderers and Coventry City defender, Sam Ricketts.

Ricketts, born 11th October 1981, started his career with then Division Two side Oxford United in 2000, making his debut in a 2-1 away defeat to Swindon Town. Ricketts would go on to spend a total of three years with Oxford, playing 45 game for The U's. Ricketts also had a loan spell with Conference side Nuneaton Borough whilst with Oxford.

In 2003, Sam Ricketts moved to Conference side Telford United on a free transfer. Ricketts only spent one season with Telford, scoring four goals in fifty-one games. Sadly, the 132 year old club went bust, and Ricketts' contract was terminated.

Luckily for Ricketts, he didn't have to wait long for a new club, joining up with League Two side Swansea City in May 2004.

Under the stewardship of manager Kenny Jackett, Ricketts' first season back in the Football League was a big success. Swansea were crowned Champions of League Two, with Ricketts also being named in the League Two PFA team of the year.

Swansea almost achieved back to back promotions, but in the 2005/2006 season they fell at the final hurdle, losing on penalties to Barnsley in the Play-Off Final.

Ricketts' form for Swansea didn't go unnoticed. In July 2006, Sam Ricketts moved to Championship side Hull City for a fee of £300,000. In total for Swansea, Ricketts played 105 games, scoring 3 goals.

It was also during his time with Swansea that Ricketts made his debut for the Welsh national team, qualifying to play due to a Welsh Grandmother. Sam Ricketts would go on to play 52 times for Wales.

Sam Ricketts' first season with Hull was one to forget. Nigel Pearson was replaced mid-way through the season with Phil Brown, and the club only managed to stay up, finishing 21st. The 2007/2008 season was one to remember.

Hull City beat Bristol City 1-0 at Wembley in the 2008 Play-Off Final, ensuring promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the Tigers' history.

Hull even managed to stay up in their first season in the top flight, finishing 17th. The Tigers recorded famous away wins against Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Wanderers legend Phil Brown also famously took to the pitch to celebrate keeping Hull up.

Ricketts' impressive form for Hull had attracted the attention of several Premier League clubs, and it was Bolton Wanderers, then managed by Gary Megson, who signed Ricketts for a fee of around £2 million in the 2009 Summer window.

In total for Hull, Sam Ricketts scored once in 129 games.

During his time at Bolton, Sam Ricketts was the ultimate utility man. Although naturally a right back, Ricketts played in all defensive positions at the Reebok. In 2011, during an FA Cup game away at Wigan Athletic, Ricketts suffered a snapped Achilles tendon, ruling him out for the majority of the year. Without him, Bolton ended up reaching the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup.

Ricketts eventually made his return against Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 2011, scoring a wonder goal (his one and only for Bolton) in a 1-1 draw at the Reebok.

In 2012, Sam Ricketts signed a new two year deal as the club were relegated from the Premier League.

In the Championship, Ricketts played 32 times in the 2012/2013 season, but couldn't help Bolton re-gain Promotion back to the top flight.

In July 2013, Sam Ricketts had his contract terminated by mutual consent, and the defender subsequently joined Wolves on a two year deal.

Sam Ricketts has since gone on record to express his disappointment at leaving Bolton, stating:

"I didn’t want to go, I wanted to stay. But the club made a decision they didn’t want to give me a new contract and they couldn’t guarantee me football. So, I wasn’t prepared to sit on the sidelines and take my money. I wanted to go and play football.

At the time I was bitterly disappointed. We had been speaking about a new deal and then all of a sudden it was taken away from me."

Upon his arrival at Wolves, Sam Ricketts was given the captaincy. In his first season with Wolves, Ricketts led the club to the 2014 League One title, and was also named in the League One PFA team of the year.

In March 2015, Sam Ricketts joined League One side Swindon Town on loan. Ricketts helped Swindon reach the Play-Off final, scoring an important goal against Sheffield United in the Semi-Finals.

In June 2015, Ricketts left Wolves to join tonight's opponents, League One side Coventry City.

In nearly eighteen months with Coventry, Sam Ricketts scored once in fifty-six games, whilst also captaining the side on many occasions.

In November 2016, at the age of 35, Sam Ricketts announced his retirement from football, due to a persistent knee injury.

On his career, Sam Ricketts was quoted as saying:

"I am grateful to all of the managers, coaches and team-mates I have had the honour of working with and learning from throughout my career," Ricketts' statement continued.

"I would also like to express my gratitude to the brilliant supporters of the clubs I have played at for always offering me their wholehearted support.

"I have been hugely fortunate to ply my trade in every division from the Conference to the Premier League, and am immensely proud of having been capped by Wales on 52 occasions."

Sam Ricketts is now working on his coaching qualifications with the Football Association of Wales.